Sunday, February 8 - Wednesday, February 11, 2009
The Venetian Resort Hotel Casino
3355 Las Vegas Boulevard South
Las Vegas, NV 89109
Tel: 702-414-1000 or 877-883-6423
Click here for the official conference website and registration form. (Las Vegas, NV)
Dear Securitization Industry Participant,
Our industry obviously faces many challenges. Origination and issuance volumes are down, credit spreads are wide, balance sheets and liquidity are severely constrained, risk aversion remains high, budgets and staff are being cut and, as a result, many firms have significantly retrenched or exited the securitization business entirely. The nature and depth of dislocations that we are experiencing has also prompted intense and critical scrutiny of our industry from legislative, regulatory, accounting and other policymaking bodies, not to mention from the financial and mainstream media.
In this environment, some have legitimately raised questions about the outlook for the ASF 2009 conference, and whether this year’s event will deliver the same value proposition to attendees and sponsors as it has in the past. We would like to take this opportunity to respond to those questions, and to share some important details on our outlook for ASF 2009.
First and foremost, we have every reason to believe that ASF 2009 will once again be not only the largest, but the most valuable and productive, securitization industry event of the year. Notwithstanding–or perhaps because of–the very serious challenges we face, ASF 2009 once again promises to be an exceptional, “critical mass” event that will bring together a diverse range of industry participants from all sectors of the securitization market. Registration and sponsorship support is strong, with registrations running at levels that are approximately 80% of our numbers at this time last year, for an event that ultimately drew over 6,400 attendees and 135 sponsors. We have over 500 investors and over 300 issuers, and over 70 sponsors, including 23 lead sponsors, and we are continuing to receive commitments from many additional sponsoring firms. We are marketing ASF 2009 vigorously, and expect additional pick-up in total registrations and sponsorships.
As one sponsor recently wrote, “The industry standard and highlight is your conference in Vegas.” While we are obviously in a different environment and although it is too soon to project total attendance, we would not be surprised if ASF 2009 ultimately generates over 4,000 attendees and well in excess of 100 sponsoring organizations. Historically, our highest volume of registration and sponsorship activity has taken place within three months of the conference date.
Our conviction in the success of ASF 2009 is based upon perceptions that extend beyond the above projections. As noted above, perhaps because of the very significant challenges facing our industry, this year’s conference carries a special importance and significance. ASF is fundamentally an advocacy organization, representing the interests of our members and markets on a variety of regulatory, legislative, market standards, and other business and policy issues. In conducting that advocacy, we have always strived to be a forum for inclusive and constructive industry discussion, and a central point of contact for dialogue with the policymaking community. Our annual industry conference is a direct extension of that advocacy role. Perhaps more so than any previous annual industry conference, ASF 2009 will be critical in advancing discussion and dialogue on a range of topics that will influence the shape of the securitization markets for years to come. In short, we expect the business networking environment at ASF 2009 once again to be unparalleled, providing an extraordinarily efficient opportunity for industry participants to convene over several days in early February to share their views and outlooks as the new year begins.
ASF 2009 combines general sessions on topics of current interest–policy and industry actions to rebuild the market; the implications of TARP to the securitization market; mortgage servicing and loss mitigation trends, to name just a few–with break-out sessions focusing on individual asset classes. In light of current market dynamics, this year’s breakout sessions will emphasize secondary market trading and relative value opportunities in various product sectors and asset classes. New sessions have also been added to provide insight and understanding on issues and trends driven by the ongoing market dislocation–distressed debt investing strategies, vehicle unwind and workout strategies, covered bonds, pricing and valuation tools and challenges, and a host of other cutting-edge topics. From a content perspective, this year’s program has never been richer or more meaningful.
Finally, we anticipate substantial participation by the regulatory and policymaking community at this event, including officials from the various public sector organizations with whom ASF interacts regularly, and whose views and actions directly influence and shape the future of our industry. Please stay tuned for announcements regarding keynote speakers and other “not to be missed” public officials and other thought leaders on the program.